Prince Andrew quietly deleted his Twitter account just one week after he was stripped of his military affiliations and royal patronages.
Previously, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement sent to Fox News that Queen Elizabeth II agreed to accept the returned accolades amid the Duke of York’s ongoing legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Social media users visiting the 61-year-old’s official Twitter page @thedukeofyork on Wednesday were greeted with the message: “This account doesn’t exist – Try searching for another.”
Andrew’s Instagram account @hrhthedukeyork still has 219K followers but has gone private. His Facebook page, still active, hasn’t been updated since Nov. 2019 when he stepped back from public duties. And as for his page on the royal family’s website, where he was originally listed as a patron or member of around 100 charities and organizations, it simply had tweet from Buckingham Palace stating he will defend his case as a private citizen.
A spokesperson for the royal didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. One royal source claimed that Andrew will no longer use “His Royal Highness” or HRH in any official capacity.
Earlier this month, a judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the British prince by the American woman who said he sexually abused her when she was 17.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected an argument by Andrew’s attorneys that Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of an old legal settlement she had with Epstein, the late American financier she claimed set up sexual encounters with the royal, 61. Kaplan said the $500,000 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre didn’t involve the prince and didn’t bar a suit against him now.
Giuffre sued Andrew in August, alleging she was coerced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and his estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Andrew’s lawyers had said the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by the deal she reached in 2009 with lawyers for Epstein. They also attacked Giuffre’s credibility and motives, saying in October that the lawsuit was aimed at achieving “another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him.” Kaplan said Giuffre’s complaint is neither “unintelligible” nor “vague” nor “ambiguous.”
Kaplan noted that he was required by law, at this stage of the litigation, to assume Giuffre’s allegations are true, though the prince’s lawyers could cast doubt on the truth of the claims at trial. The judge has said a trial would not occur until late this year, at the earliest. Depositions of the prince and Giuffre would take place before then.
Andrew has long denied Giuffre’s allegations. In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight that sex with Giuffre “didn’t happen” and he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her. His statements led critics to say he seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. After the nuclear interview, Andrew stepped back from public duties.
Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein was reached a decade before the 66-year-old financier killed himself at a Manhattan federal lockup as he awaited a sex trafficking trial in 2019. Epstein’s death came more than two years before his former girlfriend, Maxwell, 60, was convicted of sex trafficking and conspiracy charges in Manhattan federal court. Giuffre’s allegations against Andrew were not part of the criminal cases against Epstein or Maxwell.
Giuffre asserted that she met Andrew while she traveled frequently with Epstein between 2000 and 2002 when her lawyers maintain she was “on call for Epstein for sexual purposes” and was “lent out to other powerful men,” including Andrew. Her lawsuit said she still suffers significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.
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